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Open Mouth, Insert Foot
Jeff Kennett, former Victorian premier and Hawthorn Football Club president, as depicted by Ron Tandberg

A character with a big mouth says something stupid or, better yet, self-incriminating. Usually the twin trope to or immediately followed by Did I Just Say That Out Loud?.

The trope name comes from the phrase "to put your foot in your mouth" (also playfully referred to as "foot-in-mouth disease", a pun on the very serious livestock illness "foot-and-mouth disease").note 

Closely related to Ignore The Disability.

Can lead to either Change the Uncomfortable Subject or Digging Yourself Deeper. Sometimes both.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Fanfiction
  • Elecktrum's Narnia Fics are full of this trope. One fic revolves around it completely, and another has a chapter revolving around the similar phrase "eating crow." Her OCs and minor characters also get into the act, especially where Edmund is concerned:
    • Tumnus unintentionally insults Edmund by implying that Edmund had worked for the white witch in "The Conscience of the King".
    • In "Black Dwarfs, Blue River" an overzealous faun angrily tells Edmund regarding the persecution of families of some satyrs who fought on the witch's side that the wives and children (who did not fight for the witch) were "Sons of traitors [who] deserve what what they get." Edmund responds cooly: "so what will you call my sons?" Oops.
    • And then there's Ilano's Right in Front of Me moment in "They Also Serve"
  • In the prequel to Respawn Of The Dead, Heavy accidentally insults Medic a few times. But, to be fair, it's pretty clear that Medic is only insulted by being told he sounds like Greta Garbo because he has no idea he was practically quoting her.
  • In the Back to the Future fanfic Homecoming, George, not knowing about the age gap between Doc and Clara, asks where "Mrs. Brown" is. He's mortified when he finds out that Clara is Doc's wife, not his stepdaughter, and apologizes profusely.
  • In Kira Sweetheart Light has one of these moments when he discovers that L has been abused in the past.
    Light: WHO did this? Give me their name!
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "The Model Caretaker" Has Fleur de Lis struggle with this in the first half of the story, especially when Fluttershy is about.
  • The New Look Series has several examples of this trope.
    • Young Link gets in trouble with Peach due to him pretending to be her, mockingly.
    • Kenshin also gets in trouble when he tells Kaoru that he can't understand what Kaoru is going through right now because he isn't a woman like her.

Film
  • In Short Circuit Howard theorizes the potential danger of having their laser-armed robot roaming free. The stereotypical Indian guy, Ben, hasn't really grasped the concept of discretion.
    Howard: What if it decides to melt down a busload of nuns? How'd you like to write the headline on that one?
    Ben: Nun Soup?

Live Action TV
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike does this often when he's trying to court Buffy..
    • Invoked by Buffy in "Dopplegangland" when she tries to apologize to Willow (not realizing she is talking to Willow's alternate universe vampire double) for an unfortunate comment earlier in the episode, saying, "You know how my foot likes to live in my mouth."
  • Referenced fairly often on Mash. In one case, BJ claims Charles has "put a whole shoe store" in his mouth." (That example, interestingly, was incorrect, as Charles had fully meant to offend everyone.)
  • In Firefly, Simon does it virtually every time he tries to have a conversation with Kaylee.
  • Coupling: A form of Cannot Talk to Women, by Jeff: just about every time Jeff talks to a woman, he manages to do this. For example, this exchange occurs just when things seem promising:
    Lynda: I like kissing, don't you?
    Jeff: Oh, yeah! Especially the tongues part. I love getting all that extra tongue. You know, sometimes I eat really cold ice cream just so that my tongue goes numb and it feels like someone else's... But then we all get lonely sometimes.
  • In Sherlock, we have Molly.
    Molly: How's the hip?
    Mrs. Hudson: Oh, it's atrocious. But thanks for asking.
    Molly: I've seen much worse. But then I do post-mortems.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: During the 3rd season episode, Hollow Pursuits, Capt. Picard accidentally calls Barclay by his unofficial nickname Broccoli. Data tries to put a positive spin on the situation by referencing psychology but really only makes the situation worse.
  • In one episode of The Golden Girls, Blanche had an epic one. She meets and asks out a man she met in a bar, not realizing at the time (since he was sitting down) that he was blind. When he comes to pick her up for their date, she enters the room, saying things like, "Aren't I the prettiest thing you've ever seen?" and "What's the matter, are you blinded by my beauty?" She finally takes a good look, sees his cane, and stops in her tracks. Sophia directly addresses it, saying, "Want a glass of water to wash down your foot?"
  • JAG: Lt. Bud Roberts falls victim to this fairly often, especially in the pilot movie whenever dealing with Lt. Caitlin Pike. His case of Foot-in-Mouth Disease is particularly unfortunate given that his original job is Public Affairs.
  • NCIS: Jimmy Palmer is very prone to this. He does not seem to have heard the old adage that "a closed mouth gathers no feet". His foot tasting episodes routinely escalate to Digging Yourself Deeper territory.
  • In Doctor Who, the Tenth Doctor has a bad habit of doing this while talking to Queen Elizabeth I, repeatedly saying terribly offensive or regrettable things under the assumption she was a zygon duplicate. It gets them married.
  • A Moody Christmas. In the first episode Dan mistakes Cora for a door-knocking Red Cross volunteer because of her shirt, and donates some money. It turns out she is his cousin's new girlfriend, isn't a volunteer, and designed and hand-made the shirt herself.

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Western Animation


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